There is a big warning brought to you by;
The same people who gave you the computer.
The same people who gave the world the atomic bomb
The same people who put the digital watch on your wrist.
The same people who wiped smallpox from the face of the Earth.
The same people who gave baby incubators to hospitals.
The same people who gave you Sputnik and world-wide communications.
The same people who gave you the vaccines which save millions of lives every year.
The same people who create the highest buildings in the world.
The same people who created the aircraft in which you fly.
The same people who gave you organ transplants.
The same people who gave you electricity.
The same people who build the bridges you drive over.
The same people who save lives by exposing the dangers of smoking.
The same people who gave you airconditioning on a hot day.
The scientists and engineers who train for years.
The people you trust with your life every day.
Yet you deny these same people when thay warn you of Climate Change.
Yet you deny these same people when they warn you that civilisation is at risk.
Yet you deny these same people when they warn that humans may go extinct.
And you won’t be around to apologise to your great grand children!
There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.
They took a plough and plough’d him down,
put clods upon his head,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful Spring came kindly on’
and show’rs began to fall.
John Barleycorn got up again,
and sore surprised them all.
The sultry suns of Summer came,
and he grew thick and strong;
his head well arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
that no one should him wrong.
The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
when he grew wan and pale;
his bendin’ joints and drooping head
show’d he began to fail.
His colour sicken’d more and more,
and he faded into age;
and then his enemies began
to show their deadly rage.
They took a weapon, long and sharp,
and did cut off his head;
they ty’d him fast upon a cart,
like a rogue for forgerie.
They laid him down upon his back,
and cudgell’d him full sore.
they hung him up before the storm,
and turn’d him o’er and o’er.
They filled up a darksome pit
with water to the brim,
they heav’d in John Barleycorn.
There, let him sink or swim!
They laid him upon the floor,
to work him farther woe;
and still, as signs of life appear’d,
they toss’d him to and fro.
They wasted o’er a scorching flame
the marrow of his bones;
but a miller us’d him worst of all,
for he crush’d him between two stones.
And they hae taen his very hero blood
and drank it round and round;
and still the more and more they drank,
their joy did more abound.
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
of noble enterprise;
for if you do but taste his blood,
’twill make your courage rise.
‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
’twill heighten all his joy;
’twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
tho the tear were in her eye.
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
each man a glass in hand;
and may his great posterity
ne’er fail in old Scotland!
Last year I got to know Anders* over a coffee here in Perth. He and his girlfriend, Astrid were backpacking around Australia and taking an extended stay over here to the West in before the start of the Manjimup Truffle Hunting Season having come West after the end of the Berri Citrus Picking Season.
They told me they were intending to do some camping around the South West, trekking along the Bibbulmun Track heading down towards Albany.
I jokingly told them it was safer to walk to Albany than to swim there as we have had a spate of Great White Shark fatalities along our beaches over the past few months. Although I did warn them of the Tiger Snakes and Dugites.
They seemed pretty cool with the whole trip and had done all the research and were well equipped.
Before I go any further, I need to show something I mentioned some years ago. The key quote is in the graphic on the right. So there is no certainty that this post, or that this blog will last in the short of medium term. I will be expecting a knock on the door shortly after this is posted.
Anyway, back to this rather sad tale.
I mentioned that along the track, they should take care and not only watch the ground for snakes but also the trees for drop bears. From their quizzical looks I could tell that no one had warned them about this little known but dangerous beast. This was, as I explained, understandable. After all, the Government restrictions on talking about them to overseas visitors are drummed into us from a young age.
As Aussies it is second nature from that young age to not only keep an eye on the ground for snakes but also to keep an eye on the branches of any trees under which we pass. Not all those lumps we see there are simple cankers or friendly scrub pythons.
The coffee was finished, addresses and emails were exchanged and we went our separate ways.
I sent several emails to Anders but did not receive an answer. I mentally shrugged my shoulders and went on with life.
It was about a year later that I received a snail mail letter from Astrid. She was distraught! Something had happened to them on the Bibbulmun Track. Anders had met a terrible death and Astrid had been held in a secret location by “The Authorities”. It was only after she had signed many pieces of paper promising never to tell of the events surrounding Anders’ death that she was allowed to leave Australia.
Included in the letter was photograph. Astrid wrote that she had taken the SD card from Anders’ camera after she had found – - well, after. She was able to secretly hang onto that card and the photo in the letter was the last image Anders had taken. He must have looked up just too late!
Luckily the archive is only read here in Australia so I think I am free to publish that photo. It won’t be seen by anyone outside so technically, I am not breaking the “Don’t tell the tourists” law.
I sometimes wish statistics of such fatalities were kept in the same way shark attacks are kept. Made available to the general public, lives could be saved. It is a pity that without those statistics, we will never know just how many could be saved!
However the “Authorities” have worked out just how much tourism revenue we will lose should the true facts ever become known!
I shall now wait, dreading a possible knock on my door. If you don’t hear from me soon, or should the archive disappear, then you may draw some rather bad conclusions!
* Names have been changed to avoid some of the repercussions
Spending a quiet Saturday afternoon watching some football on TV and reading emails - multi-tasking whoohoo - I suddenly had a feeling of being watched!
I looked up from the computer, through a glass door and between me and the view was – - -
Grabbing the camera, I started snapping, staying away from the glass. The visitor was aware something was happening but wasn’t alarmed.
He decided to check out the menu. We suffer from a plague of feral pigeons so there is plenty in the pantry.
Looking at the balconies above and below.
Then he had a final check to see if I may have been edible.
And off he flew. No, that bit was too fast for me to catch.
So. Who was he?
At first glance I had assumed it was a juvenile Australian Hobby from the family which I have seen chasing dinner over the past few months. Then I spotted the nice yellow eye and thought it may be a Collared Sparrowhawk which I last had close contact with while I was in the desert. There were the scruffy feathers around the top of the legs but there was no collar!
Close study of my reference books finally gave me the truth. A juvenile male collared Sparrowhawk. Those bars below the chest give its age and the age precludes a collar.